Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rumor Bomb Strikes Again: NY Times Publishes Fake Letter Criticizing Caroline Kennedy

NY Times publishes fake letter from Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë criticising Kennedy
The New York Times was forced to apologise on Monday after it published a fake letter, purportedly from the mayor of Paris, criticising Caroline Kennedy's bid for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat as "not very democratic".

Last Updated: 11:33PM GMT 22 Dec 2008

Caroline Kennedy wants to take over Hillary Clinton's old seat in the Senate Photo: AP
"What title has Ms Kennedy to pretend to Hillary Clinton's seat?" the letter in Monday's edition of the newspaper said. "We French can only see a dynastic move of the vanishing Kennedy clan in the very country of the Bill of Rights. It is both surprising and appalling."
In an note from the editor posted Monday on its website, the newspaper said the letter signed by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë should not have been published because it violated the paper's standards and procedures.
"We have already expressed our regrets to Mr Delanoë's office and we are now doing the same to you, our readers," the Times said.
News of the hoax was first reported by France-Amerique, which published a story on its website on Monday. Jean-Cosme Delaloye, the Editor-in-chief of the French language monthly, which is based in New York City, said an employee read the letter in the New York Times on Monday morning and was sceptical.
"When we read the letter it just sounded very surprising, the choice of words sounded very surprising," he told The Associated Press. "When we called Paris to verify the information ... they were very surprised."
Virginie Christnacht, head of Mr Delanoë's press office in Paris, said the letter was a fake.
"We have asked the New York Times for a denial and an apology," she said. "Clearly, this was never sent by Bertrand Delanoë."
The Times blamed the mistake on a failure to verify the authenticity of a letter that arrived by email.
"In this case, our staff sent an edited version of the letter to the sender of the email and did not hear back," the paper said. "At that point, we should have contacted Mr Delanoë's office to verify that he had, in fact, written to us. We did not do that. Without that verification, the letter should never have been printed."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Obama Links to Blagojevich: Liberal Tabloid Frenzy

When I say "tabloid" I'm of course talking about that liberal rag, the New York Times. In their time-honored manner of bashing Republicans with groundless associations while saluting each time a Democrat wipes his/her ass, they now feed the intrigue mill with "association" talk about Republican high priest Rahm Emanuel, Obama Chief of Staff,and Obama himself (really a Republican is socialist trappings, everyone knows).
"Had Contact"? ooh, you mean like how I'm responsible for the phone calls made by the Apple Corporation because I had contact with their customer service dept. yesterday? That sounds right. When will these liberal attack dogs take a break and stick to the "facts"?

Emanuel Had Contact With Governor’s Office on Senate Seat
By HELENE COOPER and JACKIE CALMES
Published: December 13, 2008

CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, communicated with the office of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois about potential candidates for Mr. Obama’s Senate seat and provided a list of names, according to two Obama associates briefed on the matter.
Read on here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Rumor Bomb in Flow

“[T]he information bomb’ [is] associated with the new weaponry of information and communications technologies. Thus, in the very near future… it will no longer be war that is the continuation of politics by other means, it will be what I have dubbed ‘the integral accident’ that is the continuation of politics by other means.” —Paul Virilio

While rumors are a timeless phenomenon, popular and academic voices note something changing. Like the Matrix, Baudrillard’s hyperreality, and David Lynch’s owls in Twin Peaks, things are at best not what they seem; at worst, perpetually disorienting. Henry Jenkins’s “convergence culture” has become a keyword for our present conjuncture where new and old media content, production and consumption, collide in fascinating new ways. Though gatekeeping practices in news and cultural production have weakened, creating new production opportunities, rumor rises to new levels of importance in a postmodern political context.

Despite the digital divide, the cases of rumor exploding into public scandal are fairly global. They have prompted suicides, imprisonments, stock plunges, resignations and government investigations . For example, on Friday October 3, on CNN’s “Citizen journalism” site a post appeared stating that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had had a heart attack. Apple stock plunged immediately, though the rumor was debunked an hour later, leaving suspicions it was planted by a short-seller after quick gains. But rumors have assumed a very special role in professionalized politics, where communication experts shrewdly read the new convergence culture and use rumor to try to steer political discourse via inter-media agendas. Click here for the rest of the article.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bush: "I fucked everything up the best I could"

I'm Really Gonna Miss Systematically Destroying This Place
BY GEORGE W. BUSH
DECEMBER 1, 2008 | The Onion ISSUE 44•49
http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/im_really_gonna_miss

Oh, America. Eight years went by so fast, didn't they? I feel like I hardly got to know you and methodically undermine everything you once stood for. But I guess all good things must come to an end, and even though you know I would love to stick around for another year or four—maybe privatize Social Security or get us into Iran—I'm afraid it's time to go. But before I leave, let me say, from the bottom of my heart: I can't think of another country I would've rather led to the brink of collapse.

Boy, oh boy, if these Oval Office walls could talk. Seems like it was only yesterday that I started my first term despite having actually lost to Al Gore by more than a half million votes. Hmm. We were all so young and peaceful then. Gosh, gas was still under $2 a gallon! On my watch it peaked at more than twice that. Never getting it up to $6 or ideally $7.50 will be one of my few regrets when I leave office.

It's just gonna be so hard packing up my things and heading off into the sunset come January. I wish I could go on forever giving massive and disastrous tax cuts to the wealthy, taking the country from a surplus to a deficit—nearly $500 billion this year, likely to pass $1 trillion next year, fingers crossed—and just generally doing irreparable damage to the very underpinnings of our economy, but, well, I'm afraid the Constitution says I can't. And not even I can overrule the Constitution. Though Lord knows I tried! Initiating blanket wiretaps without warrants, suspending habeas corpus for prisoners in Guantanamo, infiltrating an unknown number of nonviolent civilian antiwar groups without permission… such wonderful memories. I'm going to cherish them forever.

My fellow Americans, I only hope that every time you have your civil liberties encroached upon by the Patriot Act, you'll think of me.

Everywhere I look brings back memories. The Blue Room is where Laura and I put up our first White House Christmas tree. Down the hall, in the East Room, is where I concocted my favorite signing statement to circumvent the anti-torture guidelines of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, and—ooh!—right across the way is where Cheney and I decided to use the death of 3,000 Americans on 9/11 and the nation's subsequent fear of another attack as an excuse to carry out our long-standing plan to invade Iraq. I should really get a picture before I leave.

Speaking of pictures, whenever I look at the dusty old newspaper photos of those tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib or the crumpled ruins of that bridge in Minnesota, I can hold my head up high knowing that I truly fucked this nation—physically and symbolically—beyond repair. I only wish I had the time to destroy a couple more major American cities.

And Cheney, I almost forgot about Cheney. What a guy, huh? I can't believe that in a few short weeks he's never going to talk to me again. The stories I could tell you about what went on in some of those back rooms—well, you wouldn't believe me if I declassified the memos. I don't know, maybe in 20 years, when the economy has rebounded and the people displaced by Katrina have rebuilt their lives from scratch with almost no federal assistance, Cheney and I can meet up again in the Rose Garden and reminisce over the good old days, when it seemed like there was no part of this great country we couldn't ruin forever.

What am I going to do once I'm no longer president? I've gotten so used to waking up every day, playing fetch with the dogs on the White House lawn, and then spending a lazy afternoon shredding every last bit of our good will abroad in a mind-boggling display of diplomatic incompetence.

The worst part about leaving is knowing I can never screw up anything this big again. Don't get me wrong, I'm only 62. I could still bankrupt an oil company, or become the next MLB commissioner and ruin baseball. But I'll never get the opportunity to fuck up on this massive of a scale again. Even if you put me back in charge for another term, I could only take the U.S. from a rapidly declining world power to not a world power at all. I don't mean to gloat, but I think it's safe to say that no one can ever unseat the American empire like I unseated the American empire.

Still, I have to admit, sometimes I think I could've dismantled so much more. The very fact that the environment still exists, that a mere 4,000 troops have died in Iraq, that there is still the slightest glimmer of hope for the future left in this nation—it's easy to feel like maybe I didn't do my job. But no, no, there's no use having any regret. I fucked everything up the best I could and that's good enough for me.

You know, I've got a few weeks left. I could still illegally fire some U.S. attorneys for political reasons, or finally get rid of that pesky separation between church and state. Or maybe I could just bomb a place. Like Russia. But this time, I would really savor it.

As long as I live, America, I'll never forget irreparably ruining you. Unless we all die in a nuclear war or calamitous environmental disaster brought on by my neglect. Either way, I'll see you all in heaven!